Early lessons from a crisis

  • Philip van der Wilt
  • About ServiceNow
  • Crisis Management
  • 2020
June 02, 2020

Communication service providers in the time of COVID-19

The million-dollar question we are hearing on an almost daily basis is ‘when will we have a vaccine for COVID-19?’. According to many sources, including the New York Times, it may still be a long way off. This means the prospect of living in the ‘new normal’ is something we may need to accept and adapt to for quite some time. 

The nature of the outbreak, and the need to physically distance, brought significant changes and restrictions to how millions of us carry out our everyday lives. It’s forced us to reimagine how we do business and how we approach our daily tasks. 

At ServiceNow we’ve been addressing the numerous challenges that the COVID-19 crisis presents. We’ve been supporting our 11,000+ employees, all of whom have been working from home since mid-March. We also transformed our annual, one-week Knowledge event into the Knowledge 2020 Digital Experience.  


Fast-tracking new digital workflows 

I’ve been encouraged to see examples of many other businesses adapting to our challenging environment in an extremely agile manner.  

These efforts aren’t focused on technological advancement, but on how the development of technology can improve customer and employee experiences, both quickly (to navigate the current crisis) and to lay a foundation to improve the quality of our working lives in the future. 

We have been absolutely overwhelmed and humbled by the resilience, agility and ingenuity of our customers, who have been making tremendous strides on their digital transformation journeys with the help of the Now Platform.  

They have been able to ramp up customer service and quickly create new digital workflows when they were needed most.  

In times of uncertainty, they have made work, work better for their established at-home workforce and for those employees used to working in traditional office environments.  


Workflow apps to accelerate the crisis response  

The pace of change has accelerated considerably for businesses. At ServiceNow we’ve moved quickly to help organisations navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

In mid-March, when most European countries were introducing strict measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, we released four community apps to help our customers manage emergency response workflows.  

CDL is one EMEA-based customer that has demonstrated robust business continuity management with these emergency apps, operating business as usual and delivering on customers’ service level agreements without disruptions or dips in productivity. 

It took CDL only two days to move the majority of its 600+ team into home offices and switch to a fully operational work-from-home mode. Their employees are using our Emergency Self Report app to notify CDL if they are self-isolating or may be at risk. 

Our commitment to supporting businesses has continued, with the launch of our Safe Workplace Apps and Dashboard on 19 May 2020, designed to help companies manage the essential steps for the safe return of employees to the workplace. 


The CIO approach to navigating the ‘new normal’ 

While there is a very real and immediate need to mitigate and manage the rapid pace of change that COVID-19 crisis presents, some businesses recognise the opportunity to look further ahead.  

From my frequent conversations with CIOs across the EMEA region, I know they are taking time to pause, assess and reset. They want to learn from the pandemic and prepare for the new working world that will emerge after the crisis has passed. 

Two clear trends have emerged from those discussions. The first is that COVID-19 is accelerating digital transformation, with workforce initiatives topping the CIO agenda.  

The second trend is a heightened awareness of the value of trusted partnerships. In moments of crisis, CIOs are looking to leverage existing partnerships that have been built on past success. They are turning to vendors and partners who can provide trusted counsel and support, and who know their clients’ businesses inside out.  

At ServiceNow, I believe that our commitment to making work, work better for our employees, our customers and our partners has never been stronger. We will continue to invest in our platform, support our community and empower our people.  

Working together we can make the world of work, work better for everyone during this COVID-19 crisis — and beyond.  


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